Whether you’re an experienced driver or face your first driving winter season in Canada, this article will provide you with some essential winter driving tips. And because the harsh winter conditions differ in each Canadian province and city, we’ve compiled a list of winter driving tips to help you safely see through the coldest and most unpredictable season on the road.
Winter driving in Canada is just around the corner, and first of all, you should know that most regions in the True North will see a lot of ice and snow on the roads for the next six months. In addition, each Canadian province has its own set of rules and regulations regarding whether winter tires are required by law or not, so make sure you are up to date with your province’s rules before getting behind the wheel.
Whether you’re a resident of the frigid Prairies, blustery Mari-times provinces, or from Barrie, Ontario, one thing that is common anywhere you drive in Canada is that you need to have a valid car insurance policy at all times. If your current policy is just about to expire, you can click here to get informed on the latest car insurance trends in Canada and learn a tip or two on how you can lower your car insurance premiums this winter.
Still, other than having valid car insurance, the winter driving season in Canada can be all but guaranteed, which is why you should know what to expect and how to deal with specific situations. Here are three simple but significant winter driving tips to make yourself more comfortable while driving this winter in the Great White North.
When it’s Slippery, Always Stay Composed and Controlled!
When it’s snowy or icy, never, and we mean never, slam on the brakes. If you need to stop quickly, simply pumping the brakes will allow you to stop faster without sliding on the icy road. In addition, if your vehicle comes with a modern braking system, you will feel or hear its anti-lock braking or ABS system, helping you stop in harsh weather conditions by pumping the brakes for you.
However, if your vehicle has a standard transmission system, downshifting through the gears can help you slow your car down instead of braking. This is especially useful if you’re making your way down a hill. In addition, when operating a vehicle on snow or ice-covered roadways, never accelerate or brake hard while turning a corner. However, if you find yourself in such a situation, ease off the brakes and point the steering wheel in the direction where you want to go.
Always Maintain a Safe Driving Distance!
Make no mistake about it, a huge hazard when driving in winter conditions is all the other drivers on the same road as you who either don’t have the appropriate tires installed or are inexperienced in driving on snowy and icy roads. For that reason, you should always drive slowly and maintain a safe driving distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Distance between cars is crucial when driving in a snowstorm because you would need a reasonable amount of time and space to brake safely if something occurs. If you slam on the brakes, you can easily lose traction, so always keep your speed down, maintain a safe distance, and let other drivers pass you if they opt to tailgate or drive faster.
Before You Get Into the Car, Clear it of Snow and Ice!
Last but definitely not least, if you’re planning on driving in the winter season when it’s snowing, windy, and freezing cold, right before you get into your car, always make sure that the visibility from the driver’s position is crystal clear. To do that, make sure that you brush off all the windows, the hood of your vehicle, your headlights, and taillights.
As a matter of fact, failing to clear your car of snow may result in falling onto your windshield as you decelerate while driving which is a fine-able offense in many provinces in Canada. For that reason, as freezing wintery weather conditions can result in ice build-up on your car’s surface, spray your car with a de-ice spray before you get behind the wheel to thaw all ice off your windows if it’s difficult to scrape off with a hand. In addition, every time that you park your car, make sure to lift your windshield wipers up so they don’t freeze while you’re away.
In the end, there’s not a surefire way to stay safe while winter driving in Canada. However, you can start by implementing the above-mentioned tips to keep yourself and other drivers safe this winter and help reduce the number of accidents and traffic issues on Canadian roads.